CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - The search for Morgan Harrington made headlines in Virginia and around the country. Despite very little hope from almost the moment she was reported missing, the college student's family and friends never gave up their search for Morgan.
The only information provided on Sunday October 18, was a photo and the news that Morgan Harrington had not been seen in more than 24 hours. Immediately her parents, Dan and Gil Harrington went to the airwaves.
"Morgan's a great kid," said her father. "And this is very atypical behavior and she's a wonderful person"
A $50 thousand reward was established and the family received help from the band, Morgan had been going to see, Metallica. Meanwhile young women at UVA were on guard.
"I carry a knife in my bag," said Nora Ellison in the days after Harrington went missing. "When I'm walking around at night but especially now with people going missing."
Dan and Gil Harrington, became regulars on national TV.
"You have to hold out hope that you know, that Morgan will come back to us," said Dan Harrington during an appearance on NBC's "Today Show" on October 27.
In early November, thousands turn out for a three day, search of the area. Jay McKee was among them.
"You just really feel lucky for the grace of God it could've been your child," he said. "So we're out here trying to help."
Their efforts net no new leads.
By mid November police reveal that Morgan may have been hitch hiking. At the end of December they say she had been drinking. The information brings them no closer to her discovery. Meanwhile a benefit concert is held at the Hat Factory in Richmond. On the internet, the family reconfirms their commitment to finding their daughter, alive.
Then less than two weeks later, a report that human remains have been found. Police feel confident they belong to Morgan Harrington.
Even though Dan and Gil Harrington remained committed to the safe return of their daughter, tonight they said that they have found some solace in learning where she is, even if that discovery was tragic.